Hop, skip, and a jump

Hop, skip, and a jump is an idiom that is hundreds of years old. We will examine the meaning of the common saying hop, skip, and a jump, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A hop, skip, and a jump is a short distance; if something is a hop, skip, and a jump away from you, then it is nearby or a minimal distance away from you. Hop, skip, and a jump is a noun. The expression hop, skip, and a jump was first rendered in the early 1700s as hop, step, and jump and referred to a dance move. By 1760, the phrase had evolved into hop, skip, and a jump, but it still referred to a dance move. In the early-to-mid-1800s, the term came to be used to mean a short distance.

Examples

The hunt will take place on Wednesday, March 31 at Davidson Park in Williston, just a hop, skip and a jump away from the library itself. (Williston Herald)

How is it that the prime minister found himself minutely informed about an alleged incident in a media organisation, but completely unaware that a member of government staff had been allegedly raped in the ministerial wing just a hop, skip and a jump from his office? (Guardian)

Don’t let the wooded surroundings fool you—this idyllic property is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the beach. (Boston Magazine)